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5 Rules For Future Cops

5 Rules For Future Cops

Andrew G. Hawkes

Growing up, I would always stand in awe and stare every time I saw a police officer. Whether at the mall with my parents, or seeing a squad car driving down the road, Police officers were my heroes. That dark blue uniform, with that shiny badge glistening in the sunlight displayed authority to me, it portrayed the “good guys”, that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up.

20 years has now passed since I first pinned on my badge, and I can tell you that I have met several young people that had the same hopes and dreams that I had as a youngster. But, unfortunately, some of them have made poor decisions in their late teen and early 20’s years that have made it difficult for them to fulfill their dream of becoming a cop.

No one says you have to wear a halo or be perfect to be a cop, but there are some things that may hinder you in your quest to become a law enforcement officer. Below are 5 tips to help you stay the course, especially in your post high school and college years.

1. Alcohol and Drugs


If they are illegal, don’t do them, period. Resist any temptation from peers. If you are at a party or in a social setting where there is a potential to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, then leave. This “Can I Be a Cop If…” questionnaire might be of help if you have concerns.

2. Try to work towards a college degree


Most states require police officers to be 21 years of age. If you decide in high school that you want to become a police officer, you have three years to wait anyway, you should be getting as many college credits as you can while you wait.

3. Keep your credit score in good shape


It is hard to resist credit card offers, especially in today’s economy when money is tight, but do not get yourself in debt that you simply cannot repay. This will destroy your credit score and your application. Police agencies will see this as irresponsible. If you cannot manage your own affairs it makes it hard for a police department to trust you with theirs.

Next Page: Is your online reputation
going to catch up with you?


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    wow...some of the posts on here...is this a confessional?

  • Phone_069_max50

    joebett1

    over 4 years ago

    2 Comments

    Talking about social networking sites I have Facebook and Twitter. I am extremely cautious about what I post on these sites, and I realize that positive posts and twits can do wonders when it comes to the backg. investig. My backg. investig. in Texas told me, "You have two options at this point in the backg. interview. Log me into your Facebook/ Myspace/ and Twitter accounts or you shall be disqualified from the hiring process!" Obviously, I logged my investigator into my accounts and he asked me several questions about pictures of current and ex- girlfriends on my facebook. When it was all said and done I realized that a clean profile with positive status updates can make an enormous difference in your favor.

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    spd301

    over 4 years ago

    6 Comments

    Our department weeds people out left and right for facebook and other social networking sites. It seems that applicants thing that if it's on the internet, it doesn't count. Believe me, it all counts. Just one point of view from an old cop.

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    Alexander_Ott

    over 4 years ago

    572 Comments

    >>IL_Soccer_Grad said:
    >>Good info. but also common knowledge

    Common knowledge ain't so common though, eh?

    Are there any other tips other LEO's would like to share?

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    ethan2010

    over 4 years ago

    52 Comments

    i am overly cautious but i dont regret it a bit.being a LEO is my dream for life, and doing this bad stuff only lasts a while, so i live my life by these rules! i'm also a type 1 diabetic, so i know i have to bring more to the table than others if i want to protect and serve.this was a great piece!

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    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    reading the responses...wow....just...wow

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    Tetra021

    over 4 years ago

    492 Comments

    I've been around people smoking pot but never smoked it my self. i have consumed alcohol underage when I was 18 and won't anymore:). I have no credit card, only my friends can view my facebook, and I got one traffic ticket when I was 16 for running a red light.
    I think the number 1 things I really need to work on right now is my confidence and school work. I am passing in college right now but I know I can do much better.
    Currently enrolled in DMACC for a 2 year CRJ degree, but If no police department is hiring I may go for a 4 year degree or apply at the nearby county jail and gain experience there.

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    clobster

    over 4 years ago

    1552 Comments

    1) No drug history. Drank before 21 but more of a beer with dinner guy now. 2) Graduated in March. 3) 737. 4) Full privacy settings. 5) Clean record. I'm more concerned about my background.

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    diderr

    over 4 years ago

    66 Comments

    I'm following these rules, and pursuing a 4 year degree. I don't have a credit card, and pay my loans on time. I stay out of trouble, but I feel my cautions have impacted my social life slightly. I just ask myself before I do anything stupid, "Will this look good on an application?" Most the time the answer is no.

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    phoenixgirl

    over 4 years ago

    162 Comments

    Thank you for writing this because for all of my high school life, I have avoided these things. And other students and even a few of my friends can't comprehend why I am so worried about the future and this just let me know that I'm not being overly cautious like so many have told me and I'm not 'wasting my youth' as one of my 'friends' so graciously put it.

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    Dropit1982

    over 4 years ago

    18 Comments

    I am going to a 2 year course at Everest Collage for a assosiates degree in Criminal justice to become a LEO

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    wannabecop89

    over 4 years ago

    8 Comments

    I have no credit and I have been told this is a bad thing. I really hope it does not get in the way of my becoming a police officer because I really want to become one.

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    88malo

    over 4 years ago

    134 Comments

    i would say my credit is in good shape but i do have points on my drivers liscence, they are suposed to 'go away' in a year or so, i hope that in a few years my credit will be better and be able to prove to the department that i made a stupid mistake, ackowledge it and took full responsibility for my actions and payed my debt to society

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    meshtatiluv04

    over 4 years ago

    44 Comments

    I have one strike against me- bad credit! I really need to try and work on that. I didn't realize how bad it could impact my future.

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    deckerpolice28

    over 4 years ago

    48 Comments

    great info something all young people wanting to become a leo should read

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